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A little while back, I went into a custom game with a friend to 1v1. Essentially there were no rules and we could push whatever lane we want and to win we would kill the nexus as always. However to start off, we both started the laning phase in mid lane. Neither of us touched top or bottom lane for a while. However we both noticed that my friends minions seemed to be pushing more than my minions. After a while, the minions without any help from my friend was able to kill my turret and continue pushing on.

My question is: what can cause this uneven pushing when the minions should be equally strong?

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2 Answers 2

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Left to their devices, minions will eventually be able to push even to the base turrets. Which side accomplishes this, however, is random, and it's basically based on how attacks are being distributed.

Minion targetting works on the following priority scheme, brought to you by the League of Legends Wiki:

  1. An enemy champion who is attacking an allied champion.
  2. An enemy minion who is attacking an allied champion.
  3. An enemy minion who is attacking an allied minion.
  4. An enemy turret who is attacking an allied minion.
  5. An enemy champion who is attacking an allied minion. (Tangential, but this lower priority is why they don't pay attention to you when they're bashing your towers)
  6. The closest enemy minion.
  7. The closest enemy champion.

Now, when waves engage each other, there are a lot of minions attacking a lot of minions. So each minion picks some sort of target, but it is mostly random within that scope. So blue's caster minions could all be focusing down one purple melee minion, while purple's caster minions are split with two on one blue caster and one on a blue melee. The focus fire will reduce the enemy numbers, in turn resulting in one side having an advantage. But because how the focus fire is attributed is random (both mechanically and because the actual positioning of the minions can differ greatly as a result), the side that gets an advantage is completely random.

This compounds due to two major factors as the game progresses.

  • Once siege minions enter the fray, they both deal more damage and take substantially more damage. They can prolong battles long enough for secondary and tertiary minion waves to support them, which can greatly turn the tide of battle even more depending again on how focus fire is attributed.
  • If a small minion wave pushes far enough, then when the next minion wave comes in the enemy will have a shorter travel time before its support shows up. With the aforementioned siege minion stalling, the end result is that one side builds up a massive force that just has to deal with the opposing side one wave at a time.

As such, eventually, they amass enough force to push down full towers, much harder than the defense can manage. Even when the defense can stall, the sheer numbers built up from the initial push can have a devastating advantage... at least until their focusing messes up and the force builds up in the opposite side.

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All I can say is... minions are OP. –  Jay Feb 23 '12 at 18:58
1  
+1 Yup, the random minion target selection along with the "I bumped into something do I go left or right" were my guesses as to why this happens as well :) –  James Feb 23 '12 at 19:06
    
Those targeting steps seem pretty deterministic. Is the minion movement random, then? There must be some random element that causes the game to have different results each time it's played out. Do you know specifically what the random variable is? –  StrixVaria Feb 23 '12 at 19:08
    
@Strix A lot of it boils down to the first step, which is "Closest minion". Once the first salvo of attacks is fired off, now you've got people attacking and being attacked, which causes those who haven't attacked yet to assign their attacks. Who gets what is affected largely by positioning to begin with (as noted by Emerica's answer there), and consequently, whose call for help they respond to. That I don't know whether it's by proximity or just "any call", but it affects both the initial engage and reassignment after a kill. –  Grace Note Feb 23 '12 at 19:12
    
@GraceNote But if the everything is deterministic, then the targeting will play out the same way every game, and the same side will get the same advantages every game. There must be some specific randomness added in that allows the results to differ. –  StrixVaria Feb 23 '12 at 19:14

There are no factors (aside from time played and a few summoner spells) that effect the minions in any way. Each wave should be dead even in terms of their stats. However, when they all bunch up to battle to the death the way they bunch probably has a lot to do with which wave will win.

For example, ONE of your melee minions walks a bit farther than the battle and gets killed by their ranged minions, their ranged minions now have to move up, subtracting time they could have been using to kill your melee minions. It is really all probability and the way the minions situate themselves on the battlefield. Clearly your minions were being bums that round.

Also, as time passes and each wave pushes a bit on eachother the location that they finally collide will change, thus creating more variation in the way that the minions will bunch.

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Position is a pretty strong influence on side advantage that I didn't even think too much about, at first. Nicely. –  Grace Note Feb 23 '12 at 19:01

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